Tongabezi Lodge is a romantic hideaway on the banks of the Zambezi River in Zambia – just upstream of Victoria Falls. Privately owned and run, it prides itself on being conservation and community-driven believing that tourism should benefit entire communities. Here, the legendary warmth of the Zambian people is effortlessly combined with its own brand of exclusive ambiance. Our dedicated personal valets welcome guests to a selection of six bespoke houses and five river cottages, all individually styled with designs from all over Africa. Every house and cottage provides a private deck, and each of the six houses has its own plunge or infinity pool. Tongabezi also offers a private island camp, Sindabezi, and a luxury family house, Tangala.
Tongabezi has been on this stretch of the river for over twenty-five years and some of the team have been with the lodge since the beginning. A stay with Tongabezi affords the perfect opportunity to experience Victoria Falls and her beautiful surrounds with all its wildlife. They have an extensive menu of inclusive activities which range from river safaris to a visit to Tongabezi’s very own Trust School, Tujatane. Their guides also recommend an additional range of exclusive excursions throughout the area. Tongabezi guests set their own pace and itinerary. It is recommended that guests spend a minimum three-night stay in order to fully enjoy the programme without feeling rushed. It would be a disservice to rush guests before a Zambezi sunset where they can instead settle down to dinner on their private decks, high over the water in the Lookout or the Hangout, or even out in the middle of the Zambezi River on a floating Sampan.
Why we like it here
The Tongabezi Trust School, Tujatane, is a five-minute walk from the lodge. Not only does it provide free food and education to over 270 local children, it is a wonderful way for guests to interact with the local culture in a mutually respectful environment.
The gardens are immense and guests are very welcome to wander through. Here they grow a lot of their own fruit and vegetables, and try to design their menus around fresh produce coming from the garden.
The Tongabezi Team is mostly made up of local Zambians from Simonga village who have been trained up behind the scenes. Many of them have been with Tongabezi since they started, or for at least ten years. They are the true heart and soul of the lodge.
Tongabezi sits directly on the Zambezi river, so every room, except the family-designed Garden House, has a river view. They also make the most of their position by offering an immense choice of inclusive activities, ranging from island picnics to river safaris.
Sindabezi Island is part of Tongabezi, but fifteen minutes away by boat. It is made up of five open chalets and can be booked exclusively. Guests on the island are looked after by a private chef, a private guide and a private valet. The island also has a plunge pool that looks over the Zambezi where the hippos hang out in the river.
Things to be aware of
The main lodge has a minimum age of 7 and Sindabezi Island has a minimum age of 14, unless the island is being taken privately.
Wi-Fi is restricted to the main areas of Tongabezi.
Guests who are uncomfortable with bugs or very new to Africa may not enjoy the openness of the Sindabezi Island rooms or the Tree House at Tongabezi.